Developing a network of independent institutions each of which serves some function for the entire economic system, and which collectively organize and direct the local community's efforts to achieve its economic goals.
Subsidies, handouts, distant markets, suppliers and buyers leave people in the rural areas vulnerable to economic forces over which they have little control. While recognizing that the world economy is an interdependent process, it is also important to develop local industries, nearby markets, and local food sufficiency as much as possible. Lasting development rests on the increase of peoples' capacity to cooperate and control the economic dimensions of their own lives and of their community.
Although there are many different approaches to generating income locally, the industries that are built on local or regional resources, skills and markets have been found to stand a greater chance of becoming viable. Village industries and agricultural schemes that rely on distant markets are vulnerable and do not provide a stable foundation for village self-sufficiency. Production and processing of a commodity which depends on economic forces operating on a national or international scale can be disastrous.
Implementing at a community level, the planning, funding and resource development of agricultural, industrial and commercial expansion, by motivating and organizing residents and creating demonstrations of local enterprises. A comprehensive economic development plan covering several years is created by residents drawing on the skills of receptive outside experts. The community is then organized into implementation task forces that are to put into place some component of the plan. They are accountable to the whole community for their work and for minor modification of the plan. Major changes in direction are done at the community level. The organization includes safeguards against control by a few, outside ownership and mismanagement.
New local economy is best done in the context of a more comprehensive development effort involving all aspects of the life of the local community.
Local level economic development is too slow a process to effect widespread change.